An Ottawa family doctor’s medical licence will be suspended for a month after he violated an agreement with his profession’s provincial regulatory body that prohibited him from prescribing certain types of drugs, including narcotics, and required him to post signs about those restrictions in the waiting room. 

At a hearing before the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario’s discipline committee on Wednesday, Dr. Peter Paul Baranick admitted to breaching his undertaking with the CPSO on multiple occasions, according to a spokesperson for the college.

Baranick, a 73-year-old physician who works at multiple Appletree Medical Clinics locations in Ottawa, accepted responsibility for his actions in a joint submission filed by his lawyer and the college prosecutor.

In addition to the one-month suspension, Baranick was also ordered to pay the college $6,000 in costs for the hearing, the CPSO spokesperson told in an email.

In response to “serious concerns” about his prescribing practices, including “questionable” opioid prescribing, Baranick signed an undertaking with the CPSO in September 2015. That agreement stipulated that Baranick would not prescribe certain drugs, including narcotics and benzodiazepines, a class of psychoactive drugs used to relax muscles, relieve anxiety and treat a number of other conditions.

Baranick had also agreed to post clearly visible signs in the waiting rooms of all his practice locations stating that he was not allowed to prescribe those drugs.

In the submission to the CPSO Wednesday, Baranick agreed that he breached those terms on “multiple occasions.” In its reprimand, the discipline committee told Baranick that his misconduct has jeopardized the public’s trust.

This is not the first time Baranick has been reprimanded by the CPSO.

According to the college’s records of disciplinary hearings and decisions involving Baranick, the doctor’s clinical practice has been assessed in the past because of concerns over his medical knowledge and record-keeping.

Baranick had previous undertakings with the college, which included agreements to be supervised and assessed by other physicians, to complete medical record-keeping and ethics courses and to abide by certain restrictions on his practice.

A June 2017 decision by the college’s discipline committee found that Baranick committed an act of professional misconduct by failing to “maintain the standard of practice of the profession.”

The decision cited two separate assessments of Baranick’s practice and patient charts, which found that the doctor displayed “a lack of medical knowledge” of conditions commonly seen in walk-in clinic patients, such as upper respiratory tract infections, eye and ear problems and asthma.

One doctor’s assessment concluded that although Baranick is “an experienced physician,” he didn’t meet standards when it came to keeping patient records and assessing common infections and chronic illnesses such as arthritis and diabetes.

On June 12, 2017, the CPSO’s discipline committee ordered that Baranick’s medical licence be suspended for two months. Following the suspension, he was ordered to complete a continuing medical education program and have a clinical supervisor oversee his work for six months, among other conditions. Baranick was also ordered to pay the college $5,500 in costs at that time.